A Hero’s Story: CT Tech Delivers Neighbor’s Baby

By Sharon Boston, Media Relations Manager

Brad Jones noticed something unusual when he arrived home in Abingdon on the morning of Nov. 7 after an overnight shift as a computerized tomography (CT) tech at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center: His next-door neighbor, Matt Kulaga, was also pulling into his own driveway — not a typical thing at that hour when Matt would normally be at work.

Brad credits his training and experience at UMMC for helping him stay calm during the emergency that quickly unfolded.

“Is today the day?” Brad asked Matt, knowing that Matt’s wife, Emily, was expecting a baby at any time.

“I don’t know,” replied Matt. “Emily called me at work and said something is going on, so I am going to check on her.”

Brad said he’d wait by the car in case Matt and Emily needed anything. Soon Matt came back saying Emily could not get up. They both went back upstairs to find Emily on the bed ready to give birth.

“Emily, don’t push,” Brad told her.

“I can’t stop,” replied Emily.

Brad told Matt to call 911 and moved to the front of the bed to help Emily. The operators stayed on the line with Brad.

“Everyone was so calm, and the dispatchers talked me through the delivery. It was amazing,” says Brad, who has worked at UMMC for one year.

About seven minutes later, the Kulagas’ healthy daughter Aubree Mae was born. Paramedics arrived soon after.

Paramedics arrived soon after the baby was born

Paramedics arrived soon after the baby was born

Now, a month later, everyone is doing great. About a week after the birth, the Kulaga family and Brad met the dispatchers — one of whom was still in training — who helped them deliver the baby. They even got their picture in the local newspaper, and Fox 45 did a TV story on them.

At UMMC, Brad sees of hundreds patients in his job in radiology, but says he rarely has such a hands-on experience. He has an 18-year-old daughter of his own, but says she was born by C-section so he had never seen anyone give birth before.

So what does this hero neighbor think about his role in delivering his friends’ baby?

“The whole thing was just an awesome experience,” he said.

Here's Aubree Mae resting after her grand entrance

Aubree Mae resting after her grand entrance

Kidney Donor A Reluctant But Real Hero

Ed Behn lost a close friend to kidney failure in 2008, and his sister-in-law has been head of a dialysis unit for 25 years. In short, Behn has seen the devastating effects of kidney failure. What’s unique about Behn, though, is that he did something about it.

Behn decided to donate a kidney to a person in great need whom he did not know (this is referred to as a non-directed donor). How rare are non-directed donors? Experts say there have been fewer than 250 non-directed living kidney donors in the world. His decision started a chain that allowed four people to get a life-saving kidney in a four-way kidney exchange at the University of Maryland Medical Center that involved eight people from four states on November 2-3, 2009.

Behn, from Westborough, Mass., says simply that donating a kidney was his way of going a good turn for someone else, or, to quote Mother Teresa, “doing a small thing with great love.” Others, though, are quick to call Behn a hero, including the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts, who recently honored him as a “Real Hero.” See this video and decide for yourself. Video courtesy of the American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts.